Published on 24 Apr 2017
Check out Dan Carlin’s Podcast about WW1: http://bit.ly/DanCarlinArmageddon
It’s Chair of Wisdom Time again and this week we talk about German Trade Submarines (Deutschland class), Beutepanzer upgrades and Dan Carlin’s Blueprint for Armageddon series.
April 25, 2017
April 22, 2017
Published on 2 Jul 2015
The seventh in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
Only fifty tanks each of Marks II and III were produced. They were unarmoured, in the sense that the steel from which they were built was not heat treated to make it bullet proof. The reason being that these tanks were only intended for use as training machines.
The chief external differences from Mark I lay in the tail wheels, which were not used on Marks II and III and later heavy tanks, the narrower driver’s cab and the ‘trapezoid’ hatch cover on the roof.
April 15, 2017
Published on 5 Jun 2015
The first mass-produced British tank.
Being, in terms of numbers, the most significant British tank at the outbreak of war, the Mark VIB saw service with the British Expeditionary Force in France, the Eighth Army in North Africa and in various subsidiary theatres. As a reconnaissance vehicle it was satisfactory, as a fighting tank quite useless since armour protection was minimal and the armament ineffective against enemy tanks.
April 14, 2017
Published on 13 Apr 2017
This week 100 years ago, the Western Front comes to live with a big British offensive at Arras. The Canadian Corps and the British 51st Infantry Division take Vimy Ridge which had been contested for 3 years by now. The rest of the battles goes well in the beginning too but due to a snowstorm and the German defences it soon slows down.
April 10, 2017
Published on Mar 29, 2016
Othais and Mae delve into the story of this WWI classic. Complete with history, function, and live fire demonstration.
C&Rsenal presents its WWI Primer series; covering the firearms of this historic conflict one at a time in honor of the centennial anniversary. Join us every other Tuesday!
Capacity: 1 rnd
weight: 37.7 lbs
Das Tankgewehr Mauser M 1918
DWJ – 1972 – Volume 4
Die Panzerbuchse 18
K. D. Meyer
April 9, 2017
Published on 7 May 2015
Lanchester Armoured Cars were produced by the The Lanchester Company at the request of the War Office, during late 1920’s and 30’s.
The long chassis was fitted with a large armoured body that mounted two machine guns in a turret as well as a third, optional, hull mounted gun. The Lanchesters turned out to be much too big for reconnaissance duties and were almost impossible to turn around on the narrow roads found in Britain at that time. Only 39 cars were issued.
April 4, 2017
Published on 15 Apr 2015
The fourth in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
Alongside their work for the British armed forces Vickers-Armstrongs produced military equipment for foreign buyers. Their earliest commercial tank designs failed to sell but in 1928 they produced a masterpiece. Known as the 6-ton or ‘six-tonner’, it was a remarkable design, with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine driving to a gearbox and track sprockets at the front of the tank. There were two main variants; some tanks were supplied with two machine-gun turrets (Type A) while others carried a larger single turret (Type B) like our exhibit.
Following trials the British Army turned it down but the tank was a major export success. It sold all around the world, from South America to Japan and was even studied by the United States Army. It was built under licence in Russia (see our T-26 exhibit) and influenced tank design in many other countries. Our exhibit is displayed in the fancy camouflage style adopted by Vickers for their commercial offerings; it is seen at a mythical army equipment exhibition some time in the thirties.
Shortly before World War II Vickers built a new version, powered by a Rolls-Royce engine (the Mark F) but this failed to sell. Subsequent to this the government of Siam (Thailand) placed a repeat order but specified the original Armstrong-Siddeley engine. These were completed closer to the Mark F design but few, if any, reached their destination. With the outbreak of war the British Government impounded all commercial tanks still in the factories and the remaining stock of six-tonners, of which this is one, were used by British forces for training.
March 28, 2017
Published on 20 Mar 2015
The third in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
In 1923 Vickers Ltd. of Sheffield and Newcastle, started to manufacture tanks for the British Army. They were the first representatives of a new generation of tanks, designed to fight on the move and restore mobility to the battlefield.
As designed the Medium tanks had a 3 pounder gun in the turret; a Vickers machine-gun in each side of the hull and Hotchkiss light machine-guns in the turret. These last were later eliminated in favour of a single Vickers machine-gun, mounted alongside the main gun and described as co-axial, since it elevates on the same axis as the main gun. This modification altered the design from Mark II to Mark II*. Using these tanks the Royal Tank Corps established standards of gunnery which, in their day, were never equalled.
March 24, 2017
Published on 27 Feb 2015
The second in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
The Carden Loyd Carrier or tankette: Designed by Sir John Carden and Captain Vivian Loyd this was a low cost, two-man Machine-Gun Carrier for infantry use. The company was taken over by Vickers-Armstrong in 1927 and the vehicle was mass-produced for the British Army in addition to a thriving export trade. Unpopular with the infantry, they were used mostly by the Royal Tank Corps as embryonic light tanks in the reconnaissance role.
March 6, 2017
Published on 13 Feb 2015
The first in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
The A13 was the first British tank to have Christie Suspension. With a top speed of 40 miles per hour, it was much faster than the German Panzers, and had one of the best guns of its time. Despite this, many were lost in the battle for France in 1940. They fared better in the desert when their speed enabled them to cut off and defeat a huge Italian Army at Beda Fomm in Libya.
January 3, 2017
I actually just finished a book that will be out in May next year called Armored Champion which is a general look at tank warfare in World War 2 that puts it into a broader context. One of the things I did in the new book Armored Champion is try to distinguish between what I call “tankers choice” and “commanders choice.” And what I mean by that is the tankers choice is what the tanker wants, the individual tank crew wants. The individual tank crew obviously wants a tank that is extremely powerful, very well armored, had a very powerful gun. So if you compare a Tiger or a Panther or a Sherman, the tanker is going to want the most powerful tank available. The commanders choice is very different, because the commander wants combat power. And combat power doesn’t necessarily come from the best technology because in many cases the best technology has issues.
So the Tiger during World War 2 cost the Germans something in the neighborhood of 300,000 Reich marks. You can buy a Stug III assault gun for about 70,000 Reich marks or a Panzer IV tank for about 100,000 Reich marks. So in other words you can get three Panzer IV tanks for every Tiger that you buy. And on top of it, the Tiger, because it was so big it was extremely unreliable. Things like the Stug III and Panzer IV had about double the reliability of Tiger. So if you’re a German senior commander, it’s an open question whether you want a force built up entirely of Tigers because they are unreliable and expensive so you are not going to get a lot of them. You’re going to get a lot more Panzer IV or Stug III vehicles for your Reich marks. So in that book I’m trying to compare those type of issues. And you know, that comes up with the Sherman. One reason there is 11,000 US tanks and tank destroyers In Germany in April 1945 is because the US decided to concentrate on a tank that was extremely reliable and relatively economical to build. And I don’t think anyone would claim that the Sherman was the best tank from the perspective of the tank crew, it didn’t have the best armor, it didn’t have the best gun, but from commanders perspective it was an excellent weapon. There were just lots and lots of them, so they gave the commander a lot of battlefield power. That can’t be said for a lot of the better German tanks because they simply were too expensive to be built in large numbers and they weren’t reliable enough, you couldn’t count on them. So it depends on the perspective that you are looking at it from.
“Interview with Steven Zaloga”, Tank and AFV News, 2015-01-27.
December 11, 2016
Published on 10 Dec 2016
Indy sits in the Chair of Wisdom again to answer your questions about World War 1. This week we talk about naval battles in the Baltic Sea and the use of tanks on other fronts than the Western Front.
November 27, 2016
Published on 26 Nov 2016
Another exciting episode of Out of the trenches this time featuring questions about German anti tank tactics, night combat, the detection of enemy aircraft prior to radar and more.
November 13, 2016
Published on 12 Nov 2016
It’s time for another exciting episode of Out Of The Trenches. This week we talk about the Olympic Games 1916, how the Germans reacted to the first tanks and about barbed wire.
September 17, 2016
At Samizdata, Patrick Crozier gets all contrarian about the tank in a post he titles “Haig’s greatest mistake”:
On 15 September 1916 tanks made their debut at Flers-Courcelette, one of the many engagements which took place during the Battle of the Somme.
The battle marked the beginning of a sorry chapter in British military history because the truth – a truth that to this day few seem prepared to acknowledge – is that the First World War tank was useless.
The list of its failings is lengthy. It was slow, it was unreliable, it had no suspension and it was horrible to operate. The temperature inside was typically over 100°F and as exhaust gases built up so crew effectiveness collapsed. It was also highly vulnerable. Field artillery could take it out easily. Even rifle ammunition could be effective against it. While normal bullets might not be able to penetrate the armour they could knock off small pieces of metal from the inside – known as spall – which then whizzed round the interior wounding all and sundry.
That the tank was the brainchild of Winston Churchill from his days as head of the Admiralty should have alerted senior commanders to the possibility that it was yet another of his crackpot schemes. But they persisted. For his part, Haig being a technophile put a huge amount of faith in the new invention. His diary is littered with references to the tank and he seems to have made great efforts to secure ever more of them. In consequence, huge amounts of effort went into a technological dead end when it would have been far better spent on guns, shells and fuzes.
Not that such efforts were ever likely to satisfy the snake-oil salesmen who made up the ranks of the tank enthusiasts. In the face of tank failure after tank failure they simply claimed that their beloved weapon just wasn’t being used properly.